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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  March 20, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." william: good evening. -- i'm john hockenberry filling in for charlie rose. we look at president trump's meeting with german chancellor angela merkel.it was their first meeting face-to-face since trump took office. he has said germany has made a catastrophic mistake in welcoming more than one million migrants and refugees in recent years. during today's summit, trump expressed strong support for nato, but emphasized member nations must pay what they 02
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member alliance. market joins me from washington. what you say this is a test of the relationship between merkel and trump? it seems to me always when i look at the body language of angela merkel that she from the beginning has not known what to make of this man. is that settling down is there more clarity? y? mark: i think angela merkel is used to dealing with mercurial sort of test australian style man, if you will. she dealt with vladimir putin in russia and berlusconi in italy, erdogan in turkey, and now donald trump in the u.s. the u.s. and germany are such major trading allies that merkel has to figure out how to work with the new president. i think that's what you saw. him,ver she may make of
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and it would be wonderful to know what her inside thoughts are, she was going to make this relationship work. she came to washington to try and find common ground. i think the news conference they held was an illustration of two people who are literally holes apart on crucial issues, but at least on her perspective, trying hard to find a way to work together. john: i got the sense that she expects -- expressed subtly the donald trump that she will take care of this part of the relationship, and he can take care of this part. domains thatet out she thought germany was going to be better to handle and that other aspects of the migrant could deal trump with on his own, and that would build into a kind of bifurcated relationship that might function very well. mark: i think that's right. i think what she made of point -- a point of saying is she was the leader of germany and will
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look after german national interests. she described the response to the migrate crisis that is -- migrant crisis that is very different to what trump is talking about. likewise entree, she says, "i'm also here to lobby for an push german interests." she turned to him at one point and said, "a trade deal is only worth doing it both sides win." she was basically saying i play my corner of the court and you play yours, that way we can coexist and perhaps work together. john: since before the end of war, andworld -- cold merkel was a leader in understanding how the forces work, demographics have been a warning sign in germany that the workforce needs to grow. the birth rate needs to rise. it isn't rising. the impetus for migrants
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to come into germany is to the workforce. it's not an argument that donald trump really has much context with. he doesn't think about immigration in those terms. is it possible that merkel expressed, here's another way of it?ing at a lot of these nations really need to think about bringing workers in, because it's helpful for them for the precise reason we want trade to work. mark: people always say donald is surprisingly receptive to the arguments of people he meets. u.s. is blessed with different demographics than germany or other european countries. it has younger population and more young people. that argument is not particularly applicable to the u.s. reasons andr valid historical reasons for being open to immigrants, but replenishing the workforce and
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creating new younger citizens is not one of them. i don't actually think that argument probably makes much of an influence on him. i wonder whether it is more on the trade side, where today the two of them talked about german companies and their role in apprenticing and training young workers. that might be an area where chancellor merkel can present donald trump ideas that can make an interest. -- impact. that is something they discussed after the news conference when they went back into the white house for lunch. john: what do you think the urgency is from a to figure out exactly what donald trump's relationships our intentions are with vladimir putin right now? has alwaysa merkel been the leader in the west who has served as a bridge to vladimir putin. she understands him perhaps better than any other leader in the west.
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she has met him more than any other leader in the west. think it is vitally important for her to figure out what kind of a relationship donald trump is seeking. that is not an easy question to answer in the current environment. while the president came into office calling for a new kind of relationship and reset with russia, in recent days -- and i think it's in part because of continuing questions around the trump campaign ties to russia ucdthe election -- administration stake out a much more traditional position. the ambassador to the u.n., was quoted as saying russia.ever trust we are in a bit of a fluid moment where we have a president who wanted to change the relationship but perhaps this finding out you has little room to maneuver to do that, and may indeed end up with the relationship much closer to the one the obama administration had, and hence to a chancellor
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merkel herself would be comfortable with. john: and what chancellor merkel look,a position to say, they are down on this if you like, but this isn't going to fly, like a never trust russia -- we have a problem in ukraine and we need to decide together how to deal with it. mark: i think probably what she will really try to do is save look, "i know vladimir better 'han anyone. with this for years to solve the situation in ukraine. it is something the germans have spearheaded. the american administration said last week to reporters that donald trump would be interested about chancellor merkel's take on vladimir putin. for all this talk about him, trump doesn't know vladimir
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putin at all. i think he will quiz her on how to deal with the russian leader. and perhaps she can make an impact on him. . he has a penchant for listening and taking their idea to heart when they have a persuasive case. john: did you get any sense of the friendliness? it is so different to see how they address the reporters at a meeting like this. itk: to be honest, i thought was meticulously formal, very impersonal. there was no chemistry i could really detect. to be fair, chancellor merkel is a brainy intellectual. she is not a warm person. even president obama with whom she had arguably the best relationship president obama had with a foreign leader, there wasn't a lot of sentimentality of putting their arms around each other. she's not like that. remember that famous episode
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where president bush put his hands on her shoulders and she sort of recoiled. their a low-key, intellectual person. i would not have expected a very emotional display. that said, these are two people that have very little in common and are poles apart. that came across in the conference. john: so no touchy feeling. about nationalist sentiment in europe, and evidence this is building in the u.s.? what would she say to donald trump about that? mark: she has gotten a bit of good news on that front. the far right populist party in the netherlands did not do as well as some thought in the election. she has her own far right party in germany that months ago many
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in germany were very worried about. there's alsoths, evidence that party has declined in popularity. we were beginning to hear a little more about what they call a trump backlash, that some of these far right populist movements in some european countries appear to be running out of steam. she probably feels better about that issue than she might have last november in the wake of donald trump's election. john: mark landler, thank you so much. mark: great to be here. ♪
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♪ ethan: good evening. i am ethan bronner filling in for charlie rose. venezuela, with more proven oil reserves then saudi arabia, was once one of the richest countries not only in latin america, but the world. michael: governed for the past two decades by the socialist party and ravaged by corruption and inefficiency, it is now on the verge of collapse with spreading hunger, rampant violent crime, in triple digit inflation. how bad will it get? is there a solution? and how should the trump administration react? joining me in new york is chris sabatini, professor of latin american studies at columbia university, and from philadelphia is michael mccarthy, a research fellow at american university's center for latin american studies. i am pleased to welcome them to
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the program. chris, you're in the studio with me. i will start with you. speak for a minute or two about how it got so bad, given all the wealth and talent that venezuela was famous for at one time. chris: it was a confluence of issues. in 1998 when hugo chavez was elected, the two-party system that dominated venezuela for almost 30 years had basically imploded. you had an outsider candidate, the lieutenant colonel who had a coup earlier, who came to power promising to clean up the system. and he did in since he completely did away with the old system. in doing so, he doubled down on venezuela's oil wealth which is considerable. over the course of his patronage-driven, socialist-oriented economy, he basically consolidated the economy around oil. today, 96% of venezuela's exports are based on oil.
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that was fine when it was $120 a barrel. but today, it is around $40 a barrel, and the country is hurting. ethan: beyond that, there are questions of institutions being able to withstand the corruption that came in with this. chris: he broke down the barriers between the semi-state owned oil company and government and raided its coffers. that also meant he didn't invest in infrastructure and development. production has been declining. the central bank has been read it. as well he has corrupted and undermined democratic institutions. the supreme court is firmly under his control. the electoral commission is under his control. ethan: and the congress has no power. chris: stripped virtually of power. ethan: a little less than a year ago, you wrote in the "washington post" that venezuela is a powder keg. you said there is widespread social distorted or and --
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disorder and triggering instability throughout the continent. is that still true? or has something shifted and why? >> great question. i think it is accurate to say in 2016, the biggest fear of those of us who follow venezuelan politics had was the possibility of the country exploding in terms of social unrest. there was in fact -- there were a number of episodes of instability on a citywide basis. however, the government hunkered down, deployed the armed forces to repress these protests as much as possible, and it managed to hold onto power. at the end of when the 2016 opposition managed to mobilize millions of the population on behalf of the recall referendum, the government blocked the effort , which then set the stage for what people thought was going to
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be a clash in the last couple of months of 2016. but lo and behold, an international supported dialogue process began immediately. that cooled the street down and basically de-escalated the situation when 2016 came to an end. i would describe the venezuelan population today is in a state of depression. they have moved through the stages of grief with regards to death of the recall referendum, from mourning, to anger, to bargaining. now i think we are in a situation of depression where it does not feel like there is a sense of possibility or hope about political change. that helps explain why at the beginning of 2017, it has been quite a bit calmer on the streets of venezuela despite the fact the country is experiencing a recession marked by -- pardon me, i should say depression marked by hyperinflation and severe
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shortages. ethan: the thing is, this dialogue that you mentioned that calmed things down was promoted by the united states government under president obama. i think the dialogue has essentially collapsed. i would be eager to hear from both of you whether you think the dialogue was the right policy. chris: first i want to compliment michael on what he said. it is a powder keg. he is absolutely right. it may seem depressed now. but what has happened in articulationthis of various institutions and rules that could have mediated and provided some kind of exit. you have a hyper polarized situation. 90% of families are food insecure. they are not getting enough. they do not have medicines coming in. people are waiting in long lines. there is a boiling cauldron of discontent. the institutions are simply not there to mediate it, and the government has basically postponed what would have been a constitutional or recall referendum and new elections for governors.
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there are no exits. the hope was there could be a dialogue. the problem was the united states and later the vatican intervened. also the union of south american republicans, south american multilateral organizations try to foster dialogue. but there were no rules to the dialogue. they were holding the government unaccountable for the basic it wasnd rights violating. there are over 100 political prisoners in venezuela and they are not being released or on the table for discussion. ethan: before we get to the dialogue, let me get back to something you said. michael said a year ago it was a powder keg. now he says it is in a state of depression. you say now it is a powder keg. it seems there's a difference between whether it is about to blow or it is depressed. is it your sense that the streets could explode in venezuela? chris: i still think it could. the problem is that the situation economically and socially has become so dire that
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people are pursuing basic human needs, and people are basically scrounging in garbage to get food. people are starving. poverty is at 80%. they are pursuing basic survival needs now. that does not mean there is not deep-seated discontent. should they begin to protest, i don't know where it will go. ethan: before we get to the dialogue, do you have the sense when you spoke of moving from powder keg to depression, the impression you gave me is it is not about to explode. do you feel it is? did i misunderstand you? michael: i think your analysis of my review of 2016 is correct. i think at this point, the venezuelan opposition leadership has a gigantic challenge in front of it to somehow get over the sense of demoralization that exists in the venezuelan
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population and create a sense of belief again. ethan: that leads me to asking whether the dialogue approach was a problem. michael: i think there needs to be some nuancing in terms of how we understand the dialogue's negative effects in terms of taking away the opposition's main resource at that time in october and november, which was street mobilization. that is to say that the opposition accepted a request from the vatican to not lead a march that was going to culminate in a rally in downtown caracas. the vatican made that request because it seemed likely such a rally would result in violence. the opposition basically took a step back. one could argue that it was a mistake of call off the march completely, but you could also
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understand why the vatican made that request. the problem is the vatican was not able to deliver. at this point, they have somewhat disengaged from the process. and there is a real problem because in country, it is a , problem of firepower in venezuela. how do you create a new equilibrium in which the opposition can in some way match force with the government? it is going to be very difficult. the trump administration has used the kingpin authority to make a special designation about the vice president of the country, an unappointed official, that he is a narcotrafficker. that is significant because it means that should the government look to make an internal transition, the current vice president would not be viable as
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a substitute, because how would he travel? other countries would not be able to recognize this. this has been the first attempt by the trump administration to send a new message. it is quite clear dialogue has been put on hold for now. i think we need to think about talks as a multi-shot game. it is not just one and done. it is about creating new conditions for a future round. ethan: ok. the future round, you think the organization for american states might be involved? chris: currently, the secretary-general issued a very good report, a 75-page report condemning all of the different abuses, and even in the past dialogue, saying the government was not held accountable. as michael was saying, by engaging in those talks it stripped the opposition's ability to exercise its fundamental rights. that has left it somewhat
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defanged. i do not see the venezuelan government accepting the oas because it has been very outspoken. the president has called the m trash. that's not a good way to initiate dialogue. it is not a one and done. this has to be a repetitive process. the issue is it has to done in a way that holds the government accountable. the government is betting it can hold the line until the next elections in 2018 and at that time hopefully the price of oil will have gone up, and they can engage in a new round of patronage. ethan: do you agree with michael this move to name the vice president a drug kingpin by the united states government is an act in effect by this administration to say something, to lay a line? obama also did the same with the guy who became the interior justice minister as well. do you also have the feeling of the naming of this man as vice president was also a political act by the president.
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chris: yes. this man is bad news. ethan: he is one of the most thuggish individuals in power anywhere. chris: precisely. crime spiked. there is very good evidence he's been involved. the question is, was this a wise move to spur the dialogue? some people say no. the gamble may be by naming him , it will send a message to others within the regime that if you do not start to get in line in the dialogue process, you may lose your privileges to travel to the united states and the goodies. ethan: they are not moving to the united states quickly anyway. chris: probably not anytime soon, but they are losing the privileges. it is a double-edged sword. it could cut either way. clearly the government's immediate reaction was thumbing its nose at the united states
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saying tough luck. ethan: do you have the sense that president will allow an election when the electoral calendar turns up? chris: i am not so sure. there was a recall referendum the opposition demanded. they kicked the can down the road. they were supposed to be gubernatorial and local elections in december. they have postponed those indefinitely. ethan: do you think the obama administration's desire to improve its relationship with cuba caused it to have a shortsighted view of what to do in venezuela? chris: i think there are two answers to the question. part of the issue of not applying sanctions was driven by the state department and career foreign service officers who wanted to pursue dialogue who had serious doubts about the opposition. it was not just an obama administration policy. the obama administration made the calculation cuba was a
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lesser national security threat than venezuela. does that mean they trimmed their sails on being more aggressive on venezuela? that is possibly true. i do not think they were linked as directly as one might think. michael: i generally agree with chris. i do not think there is much of a cost to sanctioning venezuela. there's not as much a cost for hitting the country in that regard. the party does not have any support internationally. democrats in congress are no longer willing to listen. liberal democrats are no longer willing to listen to the government's claims. you have a bipartisan consensus about the importance of sanctions for standing up for universal human rights. i think although there was the close sequencing, december 17
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obama announced normalization , 2014 talks with cuba. the day after, he signed a bill from congress which ultimately resulted in the sanctions in 2015. there is a connection. the point is that venezuela for the moment is something where we are trying to rally the troops. but there still is not a consensus about what to do. no one is really talking about the real value of the most aggressive action, which would be sanctioning venezuela's oil exports. that would really hit the government where it hurts. but that seems unlikely because of the precedent it would set. we are not talking about a crisis that threatens vital u.s. national security interests. it is a difficult crisis to manage and we don't have many great options. the real point is to argue that
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there are great costs for disengaging. we have made significant progress ratcheting up pressure. there still remains a great amount of work to figure out a solution to this highly complicated problem. ethan: that is a great way to end it. i want to thank both of our guests tonight. we will be back in a minute. ♪
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♪ william: good evening.
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i'm william cowan, filling in for charlie rose. rebecca mercer is the billionaire arras who not only provided pivotal support for donald trump when his campaign was flailing, but suggested he higher steve bannon who worked at breitbart news, the media organization part owned by the mercer family and kellyanne conway. said to be hugely instrumental on the transition executive committee and responsible for several key appointments, many people have asked just to is this 43-year-old woman? joining me now is vicki ward, an investigative reporter and correspondent for the huffington post highline magazine he's been who has spent four months reporting on the piece about mercer that was published today. it is called the blow it all up billionaires. welcome, vicki ward. this is a pleasure to have my former vanity fair colleague here at this table as charlie rose would say. this is an incredible piece of
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journalism. can you tell us who are these people? who are the mercer's? they suddenly appeared out of what seems like nowhere and we should know more about them. what is really unusual about them is an particularly rebecca mercer, who, you know, has become the mouthpiece of a far more reclusive billionaire father -- william: who is a hedge fund manager? he made his billions relatively late in life in his 50's. so unlike most of the other mega-political donors, rebecca mercer is essentially a housewife without a big business of her own to run who is in a position to really then get
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involved in a detailed way in the trump campaign, in the details. then, as we saw, on the trump transition team, you didn't see any of the other trump donors sitting around pushing -- yes -- in that kind of way, but what is really different about the mercer's is not only did they lobby very hard to have their preferred candidate and people they knew very well to then work with him, they actually want to blowup the whole political system. they wanted to blow up the republican establishment and the vehicle through which they wanted to do that was this originally british data science firm, scl, which has been
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renamed cambridge analytical. the reason that is important is that the way the political system works is that all these data science companies use in these political campaigns, in america, traditionally, are affiliated with either the republican party or the democrat. what the mercer's did, particular after they saw mitt romney's loss in 2012 -- that was when rebekah mercer first got noticed. william: didn't they back some wacky congressman candidate? vicky: yes. william: he was collecting urine to try to change people's dust vicki: yes, yes, yes. when it all starts with citizens united, that decision -- william: that is a very important point. there would be no mercer's without citizens united. can you talk about that? vicki: completely important. in fact, in the piece, i have magnum, on theid
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record, who spoke to the wall street journal and was suspended from renaissance technologies. william: incredibly, for criticizing robert mercer. , for criticizing robert mercer. he said they are all slightly crazy at renaissance technologies. slightly wacky, anti-establishment people who all have crazy views. robert mercer really used to say quite publicly that, you know, that he believed that people who aren't very little money had very little value to society. william: he was critical of teachers in this regard? that is astounding to me. vicky: it is.
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william: simply because they do not make enough money. vicky: so he would say things like this, and inside the firm, but david said, we were all slightly crazy inside renaissance technologies. no one thought really, that this mattered. sort of, robert mercer was the person who preferred speaking to cats than to humans, so as long as he spoke to his cats, all of this was fine, but when citizens united, when that decision gets passed, of course -- william: which allowed unlimited amount of money being spent for the little -- vicky: for individuals. william: it changed the whole political landscape. vicky: and the mercer's, their first test run was in oregon with his doctor, arthur robinson, who was affiliated with this organization, and very proudly so, that collected files vials of urine, but they saw that their money really had an effect, and that changed everything. from there, they invested in breitbart, which is of course, where they come across steve bannon, and steve bannon earn
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s their trust. andrew breitbart dies. steve bannon does a lot, i think, to rectify the health of the financial health of breitbart and expands its platform quite dramatically. and also, what i get into in the piece, which i found interesting, is that quite a few of the republican consultants i talked to mention that steve bannon often appeared dressed like a homeless person. in fact -- william: he still kind of looks like it. vicky: he wears a suit and a tie, but, you know, the first you have photographs seen is of him in his track .ants and all disheveled one of ted cruz's political consultant said to me very , a brilliant strategy in this
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very strange kind of rubik's cube like world of uncomfortable codependency dependencies that make up the political world, because if you are a political want the donors who you are so reliant on to just focus on your brain, to your -- you know, on your strategy. you don't want to be looking at your cufflinks, or how you eat. that can make a huge difference. they can abandon you because of things like that. turning up looking like a homeless person may have worked extremely well for steve bannon. william: let's step back a little bit, because i think renaissance technologies and jamie simons and robert mercer, this is a big hedge fund. jamie simons is usually the highest, one of the highest if paidif not the highest hedge fund manager year in and year out. robert mercer was his right hand guy and made a lot of money
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himself. has a few toys, right, big yacht. there is a great scene in here about them going out to fishers island, right? rebekah mercer, his 43-year-old daughter -- vicky: the middle daughter. william: explain this. she not only work at renaissance for a few years, but she also has a cookie company. as a sideline, she is trying to ofrthrow what we think i republican party orthodoxy. this is a very complex woman that you seem to have captured very well in this piece i think. vicky: two or three years at renaissance. william: stanford degree in computer science and engineering. vicky: a not sure, i don't think, again, david was one of magnum was one of her bosses. it ended not so well.
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william: perhaps a bit of nepotism comfort there. vicky: right. she certainly had by the time -- 2010, citizens united came come and mercer was finding out what money could do for them in the political sphere. she had enough time on her hands to go all in. she would attend these freedom summits, the koch brothers network. william: another important figure in the story. he was head of citizens united. vicky: david bossie. william: there is a direct link between citizens united, steve bannon, the mercer's, trump. vicky: dave bossie was a person who introduced the mercer to donald trump. he did not know them very well, but over the years, that is how
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he got to know steve bannon, kellyanne conway, and how he got to know the mercers. they would all talk. but rebekah mercer i think found these summits frustrating and she thought they were too soft on immigration and trade and she also thought that no one paid enough attention to her. william: is she an egomaniac? does she need the attention? vicky: put it this way, even people who would call themselves supporters and friends of hers call her a force. william: a force. vicky: a force. william: is that a euphemism for something? vicky: i think she is clearly a very assertive personality. and someone who would definitely consider themselves a friend of
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hers, you know, she perhaps has low eq, which means that, you know, obviously, means she has low eq. she does not read of room well. what she is interested in is politics, her agenda, and getting it across. she first got herself really noticed after the mitt romney loss in 2012 when she stood up at the university club in new the room forted saying he had had a terrible canvassing and data operation, and sort of scolded them all and everyone was like, who is this woman? william: there are some great details in this story and i would like to talk about quickly. bannon, steve bannon being in charge of biosphere2. i don't know whether it was the scientific experiment in the desert.
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he change the locks. seal onntists wrote the e 2 because he locks them in. vicky: really the point of bringing up biosphere two is to show that steve bannon -- william: is a complicated guy. vicky: he has a history. he is very good at coming in and taking -- he was brought into biosphere two as a banker. and he ended up running it, and he has not appealed to very rich people. they end up trusting him. the billionaire who felt that this project was being completely mismanaged brought him in to fix it.
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and i believe that -- yes. the other thing that is noticeable with steve bannon, there is always quite a lot of drama. the way that the old regime had to be sort of removed and he could take over, did involve armed federal marshals, so you know. william: he did sort of a similar thing, you know, with getting out, getting the mercers and himself and kellyanne conway out of the cruz camp into the trump cap at just the right moment, and taking over that camp and supposedly fixing that after the paul manafort -- the thing that, the thing that, the thing that really struck the cruz campaign about steve bannon, and many of these people are obviously great personal friends, was -- and i think they wondered to this day
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if he had not realized until the spring of last year that ted cruz was born in canada because steve bannon was supposedly with the mercers and they had all agreed that ted cruz would be the candidate, but suddenly, breitbart wrote, i think, 61 articles mentioning the fact that ted cruz was no longer electable because he was born in canada, and the cruz campaign and senator cruz called and said, called the mercers, and said, "what is going on?" and rebekah mercer said i have to let steve do his thing. i have to be fair and impartial. it was also quite clear by then that steve bannon had said to the mercers, who had put a lot of pressure to ted cruz, that they felt ted cruz was not close enough to jeff sessions
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positions on trade and immigration and he had to move his policies closer to jeff sessions. they complained about a wall street journal op-ed he had co-authored with paul ryan saying he was pro-free-trade and they complained about that and stephen bannon was definitely sort of whispering in their ear on that one and then, when trump, during the primaries, came out with his muslim ban, rebekah mercer said to ted cruz, she was giving the dressing downs after each debate, which i think the cruz campaign found difficult to follow because cruz was after all a debate champion from princeton, i believe. so, but she told him that his positions on immigration were
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not needed to move closer to trump's and indeed to the base, so he came out with this policy about h-1b visas, a 90 day period where h-1b visa holders, you know -- william: so trump wins, and success has many fathers. everybody is claiming that they had a roll and were responsible for his victory and on election night, she is hanging out with breitbart. again, great details -- breitbart in his office with a curtain, so no one can see. vicky: that was bannon. william: bannon, in his office so no one can see what he is doing, but then she tries to get people she wants into the administration. she is on the executive transition team and tries to get the people she wants in the administration. she gets nixed by and large.
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vicky: she wanted flynn. [laughter] william: ok, she got plan. vicky: -- she got flynn. vicky: for it while, she wanted jeff sessions. she was that against mitt romney. william: and romney's daughter. vicky: she, yeah, she was furious when mitt romney's niece was made head of the rnc, and i think another huge disappointment. she tried twice for john bolton, who had a relationship with the mercers. he has donated to their causes. they have donated to him. and john bolton's foreign-policy positions are, i believe, not in line with donald trump, so it makes no sense that he --, but, she is very, very, very vocal,
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but i think the thing that really upset her, and i have ene in the piece where she goes to the memorial service on december 19, she really wanted -- this is the sort of, i think, kind of the most worrying element of what the mercers were trying to do. she really wanted to control one outside group. what is called the outside that advocatesup for the issues that, uh, gets the president's addenda out across the country. she did not just wanted to do that. someone than the piece said she got these people elected, she got -- william: she believes she got them elected? vicky: so now she believes she wanted this group using has thee analytical engine, she wanted to hold them accountable, so theoretically,
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theoretically, let us say donald trump, you know, hypothetically wanted to invade granada. if she had got her way and her engine with their great database, could message the country to follow her agenda, you know, that power above the level of -- she thinking he is the manchurian candidate and she is controlling it? vicky: that was the most terrifying part of this. the history, if you look at the mercer's history, shows if you go back to the candidates that they backed at the beginning when they were testing things, the end mattered to them more than the means, so this i think was the most sort of, troubling aspect of all of it.
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she did not get -- she got stopped. she got stopped because nix has upset every single american who has come his way, in contact with him, and brad paschal, the very down-to-earth kansas born, you know, -- william: who built the website for the trumps and suddenly took over the whole digital strategy. vicky: yes, to the trump family, and to jared kushner, got sick and tired after the election, of hearing from, you know, the cambridge analytical pr machine, when it was all them, when in fact, he never used any of their psychographics. the decision of donald trump to go to the rust belt, wisconsin, actually, it started when brad pascal had the --
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moment.htbulb william: pennsylvania. vicky: it was a lightbulb moment when pascal thought, wait a moment, what if we have much lower voter turnout then everyone has been expecting and he then asked two members of his team to run models based on voter turnout that was similar to the midterms, 2014, not as high as people had been thinking it would be, and that is when he saw the path. he mapped out a path. it was actually 305 electoral college votes. he was one vote off, and he then took all this to bannon, to ie, to jared kushner. william: most people have never even heard of him. vicky: he is like that, so when he is in a meeting in trump tower during the transition team with, you know, you know, with rebekah mercer and all the
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other, kellyanne conway, all the people in the room and she is pushing for this one organization. he basically -- yes, and he said, very politely, no. this is not about mercer. this is about trump. certainlypect, cambridge analytical, who had nothing to do with why we got here. and that caused, you know, that had caused a rift. we ended up with, i mean, i think rebekah mercer will have her own group, but there are going to be three different outside groups, and it dilutes the power of each because donors will decide which group to go with. william: from the way you ended the piece, we have not heard the last of rebekah mercer. vicky: oh no. oh no. william: it sounded like steve bannon knows he is a short timer. he is like doing all of these
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things. that seemed to be news you are breaking in this piece. is that true? vicky: someone very close to steve bannon phoned me this morning to tell me he has definitely told friends, you know, that country comes first, and he likened himself to thomas cromwell, who, as we know, did end up beheaded. this person said to me rather humorously, you often see him on tv wearing makeup. recently, we saw him at cpac without any makeup, so he looked much worse. i think his priority is this list on the wall he has of all the things, his agenda, for the first 100 days. he cares about that, cares about the country. if he somehow implodes in the process, that is fine. country first. william: so we could be -- he
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seems to have recognized that his days -- he's only going to have a limited time on the stage. vicky: listen, who knows what will really be, but we do know that steve bannon is a student of history. and people in his position, you know, -- william: have a half-life. vicky: yes. william: but the mercers, i think the whole fascinating thing that citizens united unleashed the mercers, unleashed a a lot of powerfully wealthy people, but this election cycle, it seems like it unleased the unleashed the mercers on us. we have an understanding of who they are, how they worked throughout this campaign, first backing ted cruz and then switching over to donald trump. it is a really fascinating rendition of the behind-the-scenes power plays among these very wealthy people, and clearly, rebekah mercer loses out and we have not heard the end of her. vicky: oh no.
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not at all. william: thank you all for watching. ♪
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♪ it is almost 11:00 in hong kong, 2:00 p.m. in sydney. i am shery ahn. to "bloomberg markets: asia". ♪ shery: park begins questioning, apologizes and says she will cooperate with prosecutors. david: the fbi says there is no evidence to support the president's wiretapping claim. shery: policy makers offer
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opposing views on race. sees four hikes this year, another says, what is the rush? triggers brexit next week, launching the process of leaving the european union. shery: lots of risks, lots of noise. rally seeing asian stocks for an eighth consecutive day, the longest rally since april last year. it is not affecting the markets. david: a lot of money coming out of the dollar and developed markets. i will rejoin you. have a look at this chart. very simple, msci in white. eight days of gains. tencent. line is

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